The #1 Myth About Designing an eBook


A popular self-publishing myth is that everyone can and should design their own eBook…

Before we put BookBaby’s myth-busting team to work, maybe we should ask ourselves, “What is book design?”

Well, it’s the process of taking all the various components (content, style, format, etc.) and whipping them into a coherent whole– which we call the “book!”

“But I’m just the author,” I hear you say.

Plenty of people out there might tell you that designing an eBook is so easy your goldfish could do it. There are apps for your iPad or browser, and a host of companies that sell eBook conversion software. And design templates, clip art, and stock photos are just a few clicks away.

But what these folks aren’t telling you is that book design is still an art.

The publishing industry may be moving from physical to digital book formats, but that doesn’t mean that the art of typography, layout, and design are lost (though you might reasonably assume that based on the quality of all the amateur eBooks out there).

When you think about it, layout and design are even MORE important for eBooks. If you plan on selling your eBook on all the various eReading devices out there (Kindle, iPad, Nook, Kobo, Copia, etc.), it’s going to need to look good on ALL of them. We’re talking about 1 eBook file (well,… maybe 2 if you include the .azw format for Amazon’s Kindle) that will need to be designed well enough to display on every reading device in an attractive but user-friendly way!

eBook Gold Rush

These days, people want to turn just about everything into an eBook.

You can pay some money to turn your social media feed or  your blog into an eBook almost automatically. But will it be a readable book? Will it look great on every device? Will anyone want to buy it? If you’ve taken the time and effort to write something that others want to read, make sure it looks like a truly professional product on every device!

Whether your book is just text or a multimedia extravaganza, hiring an experienced company that uses real people, (NOT software) to design, layout, and convert your eBook into the many formats that are needed, will always result in a better product and a better experience for your readers.

So, should every self-published author attempt to design their own eBook? No! The myth is FALSE.

What has your experiece been with eBook conversion and design tools? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below.

Design your eBook with BookBaby

Chris Robley is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."


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